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The Donnybrook
Friday, June 29, 2007
As I stand a mere 4 months away from fatherhood...

...I must make a promise to my wife and my unborn son and daughter that I will never become a psychopath like Louis C.K.

He's hilarious, but he's truly demented. Enjoy...

I'm gonna be watching this Greg Oden kid...

...if for no other reason than he's (allegedly) 19 years old, but somehow looks old enough to be my grandfather.

BTW, Bill Simmons is his usual brilliant self in his annual NBA Draft diary.

In other sports news, the Phillies begin a 4-game set with the Mets today with a day-night doubleheader. They're 3 games behind the Mets for 1st place in the NL East.

Life is good...

Wednesday, June 27, 2007
Another Republican heads off to the slammer...

It just keeps happening, doesn't it???

A federal judge chastised the Interior Department's former No. 2 official and doubled his proposed prison term to 10 months Tuesday for lying to senators in the Jack Abramoff lobbying scandal and making excuses about it in court.

J. Steven Griles was the department's deputy secretary and is the highest administration official sentenced in the probe. He pleaded guilty to obstructing a congressional investigation, but on Tuesday his lawyers tried to deflect blame for his faulty testimony.

U.S. District Judge Ellen Segal Huvelle was not pleased.

"Even now you continue to minimize and try to excuse your conduct," she told Griles before doubling the five-month prison term he and prosecutors had agreed on.

Griles admitted to lying to Senate investigators about his relationship with Abramoff, the central figure in a corruption investigation that has led to convictions of a former congressman, legislative aides, lobbyists and officials in the Bush administration.

Atrios raises a good point here: How many Clinton adminstration officials were convicted of crimes they committed while in office?

Tuesday, June 26, 2007
I honestly don't think he's that ugly...

A two-year-old Chinese Crested and Chihuahua mix dog was named the world's ugliest dog on Friday. The winner, named Elwood, came in a close second last year at the ugly dog contest at the Marin-Sonoma County Fair. This year, however, he easily beat his opponents, much to the delight of his owners.

Elwood is dark colored and hairless, except for a puff of white hair shaped somewhat like a mohawk on the top of his head. He is also referred to as "ET" or "Yoda" for his slight resemblance to the characters.

The dog's owner, Karen Quigley or Sewell, New Jersey, said that she rescued Elwood two years ago, and that "The breeder was going to euthanize him because she thought he was too ugly to sell."

Karen thought otherwise. "I think he's the cutest thing that ever lived," she said, adding "So ha ha, now Elwood's all over the Internet and people love him and adore him."
His name is Elwood. How friggin' hip is this dog?

Republican obstructionism continues...

This time, they're preventing further consideration of the Employee Free Choice Act.

All but one Republican Senator voted against debating the bill, which aims to make it easier for employees to unionize and establishes stronger penalties for employers who violate the rights of workers hoping to unionize.

All 50 Democrats voted to move forward with the measure...

Monday, June 25, 2007
Probably my favorite interracial duet of all-time...

...and there's more out there than you might think.

Clarence Clemons and Jackson Browne "You're A Friend Of Mine"

So what's your favorite interracial duet?

P.S. Yes, Daryl Hannah actually dated Jackson Browne while she still had her fastball. Musicians are truly the sexual overachievers of the guy world.

Ric Ocasek, 'nuff said...

Sunday, June 24, 2007
TV Trivia

What band was episodically shown on Andy Griffith?

Your answer, here.

Troop Reductions. Coming This Spring.

It does not matter what the Iraqi government does or does not do. It does not depend on the Iraqi Defense Forces nor the Iraqi police.
I really hope Bush will listen to Gates and Rice more that Dick Cheney in the coming year. Given that the Army has had to raise the age limit several times, accept twice as many of the lowest-scoring recruits as in the past, dramatically increase reenlistment bonuses, increase deployments from 12 to 15 months AND WE STILL FACE the consequences of the administrations unsustainable strategy. No matter what you think about the virtues or vices of a policy that keeps US troop levels high in Iraq, that begins to change in April regardless of the "conditions on the ground" and the "advice of commanders" that Bush likes to cite. This cannot be sustained without breaking the force. Nice job, Mr. President.

Saturday, June 23, 2007
Rejoice, Rejoice, Emmanuel.
Cheney is trying to assert that he is not obliged to give up governmental records because the Office of the Vice President of the United States is somehow not part of the the Executive branch. This guy makes Spiro Agnew look good as a veep.

Friday, June 22, 2007
If your Congressperson voted "Aye" for this amendment...

...he/she is among the worst of the worst of the brain-dead Republican automatons in Washington.

You can find out why right here...

Now that's a great-looking jersey...

Why can't all sports franchises take a cue from the Boston Bruins?

Sure, their team sucks, but man, they get an A+ for their new uniforms. And in an era when uniforms just keep getting uglier and uglier, they're a breath of fresh air.

Seriously, is there anything cooler than the tie-up front on a hockey jersey?

Thursday, June 21, 2007
"I once knew a Lou Money..."

Here's a guy who never gets the credit he deserves, but he's still out there kicking ass...

"Take Me Home Tonight" by Edward Joseph Mahoney...better known as Eddie Money.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007
If the NFL had a logo like the NBA...

...which player would be on it?

It's a very cool touch that the NBA's logo actually contains an image of one of it's all-time greatest players, Jerry West.

It's so cool, in fact, that I'm surprised no other major American sports league has followed suit.

So my question is simple: Which player(s) should be immortalized on the logos of the NFL, MLB, and NHL?

My submissions:

NFL: Jim Brown

MLB: Hank Aaron

NHL: Wayne Gretzky

Someone with a lifetime appointment to the Supreme Court...

...thinks that the fictional character, Jack Bauer from "24", is real.

"Jack Bauer saved Los Angeles. ... He saved hundreds of thousands of lives," Judge Scalia said. Then, recalling Season 2, where the agent's rough interrogation tactics saved California from a terrorist nuke, the Supreme Court judge etched a line in the sand.

"Are you going to convict Jack Bauer?" Judge Scalia challenged his fellow judges. "Say that criminal law is against him? 'You have the right to a jury trial?' Is any jury going to convict Jack Bauer? I don't think so."
Why do so many conservatives claim such mortal hatred for Hollywood and then puff it up whenever the opportuniy presents itself?

Paging Fred Thompson...

Tuesday, June 19, 2007
Sure, it's a God-awful video...

...but the groove is undeniable. Just give in, it won't hurt too much...

"Tarzan Boy" by Baltimora

"Moobs" Mickelson is a big sissy...

It's not really a reach to call any golfer not named Tiger Woods a sissy, but after listening to Phil Mickelson whine about the difficulty of the course during this weekend's U.S. Open, it's a topic that deserves at least a little attention...

Monday, June 18, 2007
Eh Tu, Ted?

More good government brought to you by the Republican party. For the Stevens' it seems like a family thing...

Staking It All On Iowa?

The Democratic Party primaries' time frames have undergone a sea-change. I have to wonder whether the stake-it-all-on-Iowa strategy makes sense, given the new schedule. It used to be that a candidate could hope an Iowa victory early would have an slingshot effect for the run up to Super-Tuesday. This year Feb. 5 is bigger than Super Tuesdays of the past. Is Edwards overestimating the potential Iowa effect?

A rather unusual hypothetical for you...

You're given $100 million dollars, a flag, and the following condition:

One year after getting the money and the flag, you have to plant the flag anywhere on the planet. For the rest of your life, you can never again stray more than 5 miles away from the flag.

Would you take the money? If you took the money, where would you plant the flag?

I say "hell, no!".

There's too much world to see, and the money just isn't worth it...

The Upside (or is it another downside?) to watching Fox News...

I must admit there is a sadistic bit of pleasure in seeing what no-name "experts" Fox can dredge from the darkest corners of America's political toilet tank.

While at the gym this weekend, I got stuck in front of a TV tuned to Fox News.

Much to my delight, the guardians of fair and balanced journalism hosted Michelle Dallacroce, a representative from an organization called "Mothers Against Illegal Aliens".

That name says it all. Here was a woman that decided her calling in life was to de-humanize immigrants and spread fear in the name of her own children.

Now bear in mind, I couldn't hear it and there was no closed captioning going on, so I withheld full judgement until I got home and checked into the organization.

It was far worse than I could've imagined.

I found the picture immediately to your right, as well as this lovely screed:
Illegal Alien Females think that requirements for US citizenship are:
1. You sneak over the border.
2. You get pregnant as fast as possible, as many times as possible.
3. Use your child as your weapon of choice to “blackmail” the USA to let you stay.
4. Call every USA citizen a racist and home wrecker who wants you and your child to leave and return to your country.
A kind an loving mother if ever I saw one...and Fox News gave her a forum for no other reason than she has a website and a bitter hatred of immigrants.

Very nice...

In the spirit of Peter Gabriel...

...here's an absolutely haunting song that gives me chills every single time I hear it. The bridge makes me want to cry.

"Hate Me" by Blue October

Sunday, June 17, 2007
Climbing Up.

Peter at his best. You can keep my things, they've come to take me home.

Melody has power. (Kate can sing.)

Friday, June 15, 2007
Some Clinton Portis-esque Comments

Followed by a really stupid attempt at a denial from J Vilma, NY Jets. You be the judge:
  1. “Dogfighting is much more extreme, but you can equate it to horse racing. ... Everyone has heard about dogfighting. Whether you choose to participate or not, that’s your decision.
  2. “I was definitely not comparing the two, dogfighting to horse racing."
How is that, JV? You cannot have it both ways.

Thursday, June 14, 2007
Continuing Theater That Shouldn't Be

This clown should have been gone long ago. Has no idea what the difference between being the President's attorney and the People's attorney is. The President's loyalty is seriously misplaced in this doofus.

Your 15 Minutes Are Up!

Somewhere, Andy Warhol is laughing. If only the whole American Idol embarrassment can follow Kelly's path.

The Overflow

If Jordanian Palestinians get violent with each other, the potential for a pan-Islamic conflict increases.

It's official: The commonwealth of Massachusetts is intent on destroying my marriage...

What other explanation can there possibly be for such actions as these???
Massachusetts lawmakers blocked a proposed constitutional amendment Thursday that would have let voters decide whether to ban gay marriage in the only state that allows it.

"In Massachusetts today, the freedom to marry is secure," said a victorious Gov. Deval Patrick, who had lobbied lawmakers up until the final hours Thursday to kill the measure.

The narrow vote was a blow to efforts to reverse the historic court ruling that legalized same-sex marriage in the state. More than 8,500 gay couples have married there since it became legal in May 2004.
8500 gay marriages. The strain on my straight marriage has been unbearable. I can literally feel myself turning gay...

Wednesday, June 13, 2007
Palestine Splits

The "Palestinians" elected Hamas. They may have to live with the consequences. (Not military intervention, but the humanitarian crisis that will see nobody coming to the rescue.) Let's not lose sight of the fact that this civil war is due to democracy, which is no panacea. Elections do not equal freedom. Look at Iraq or Afghanistan. Elections, yes. Desirable address? No. Before you get righteous and judgmental, consider....If Canada elected a government committed to driving Americans into the sea, would you, my fellow Americans, be inclined to help out when fighting erupted?

This is a loss for the "Palestinians" (I use the quotation marks because I don't believe they represent a viable nation) and for Israel. The split of Gaza (Hamas) and the West Bank (nominally Fatah) is a natural conclusion to the corrupt reign of Arafat, who never missed an opportunity to miss and opportunity.

Now THAT is Great Public Relations!

So, imagine that you are the head of a vast, declining religious group and you want to stem the tide of defections to other faiths and agnosticism* or atheism. What could be better than calling for an end to donations for Amnesty International, because of their stance on abortion. That should win over legions of new followers! Nice going, Pope Benedict.

*C'est moi.

Kobe or Allen I Would Never Utter the Words

"... they have probably the greatest team in the world and that’s what this sport is all about."

If LeBron keeps that in mind, I have no doubt he will bring a title to Cleveland. Just not this year. I wrongly predicted LeBron would never live up the the hype when he came into the league. Damn was I wrong. Really, really wrong. He delivered and now has is team in the NBA finals - even if they are sitting on the brink of elimination. With the sort of class attitude and outlook on the importance of team over the individual (note to the narcissists who want to "showcase my talent" more than win: you won't win until you learn its not all about you), I doubt this will be the last finals for LeBron and Cleveland. Speaking of class acts, Greg Popovich doesn't really get his due. He really doesn't seem to care, either.

A question for all you Southern folks...

In the 11+ years that I've lived in North Carolina, one thing (other than North Carolinians' inability to use turn signals) has vexed me:

Why do so many Southern men have girl names?

Here's a short list of the "guy" names I've heard with varying degrees of frequency during my time in NC:


This strikes me as odd, since a lot of Southern men present themselves as rough-and-tumble tough guys. I can say with no hesitation that I have never met a man from north of the Mason-Dixon line with a name from that list.

Maybe it's a "Boy Named Sue" kind of thing...

Tuesday, June 12, 2007
Any other "Muppet Babies" fans out there?

More specifically, are there any Bunsen Honeydew fans out there?

Monday, June 11, 2007
I'll take "Things I Could've Guessed" for $1000, Alex...

Majority of Republicans Doubt Theory of Evolution

The majority of Republicans in the United States do not believe the theory of evolution is true and do not believe that humans evolved over millions of years from less advanced forms of life. This suggests that when three Republican presidential candidates at a May debate stated they did not believe in evolution, they were generally in sync with the bulk of the rank-and-file Republicans whose nomination they are seeking to obtain.

"Oh, the movie never ends, it goes on and on and on and on..."

How about a little group therapy about "The Sopranos" series finale? I could use a little help myself.

What did I miss?

Was the cat actually Christopher reincarnated?

Did Tony actually get killed?

How hard is David Chase laughing at all of us today?

Remembering the good ol' days of "The Sopranos"...

...because after last night's disaster of a finale, I need to remember the better days.

Here's the best of Paulie Walnuts...

Sunday, June 10, 2007
France Hopes It Has Found It's Clinton

He may move France towards the center the way Clinton moved the Democratic Party to the center. The world would benefit economically and politically. I wonder how long his popularity will last when he starts administering economic medicine in France? For now, anyway, the signs are good.

Shut It Down

One more voice added to the chorus. Not an insignificant voice. Habeus corpus. (Sing it with me.)

It matters.

Feels Like Big Brother

The "virtual fence" meets actual Americans.

Saturday, June 9, 2007
Pace Out

Too closely identified with Rumsfeld and the Iraq or bust crowd. Nov. 7th changed a lot of things. Now the administration is going for a drawdown after the "surge", but still planning to stay for a long time in reduced numbers. And the National Security Adviser is being cut out of Iraq and Afghanistan policy. Big failures cause big shake-ups.

Friday, June 8, 2007
Tasty Pickin's
From Jerry Douglas and gang.

Quite an old song...

...but it got a new life a couple years ago after being featured in a Hummer commercial.

"Happy Jack" by The Who

Which band/artist has released the most "favorite" songs?

No, I'm not looking for the band with the most #1 hits, I want a read on which band or solo performer has recorded the most songs that people would identify as one of their "favorites".

Mass appeal and marketability are the keys here.

I'll go with Billy Joel, for the sole reason that every song on the album pictured to your right is probably somebody's favorite song...

Thursday, June 7, 2007
You can only eat at one fast food joint for the rest of your life...

Which one would it be?

Keep a few key points in mind:

1.) This is not the only food you'll get to eat, just the only fast food you'll be able to eat.

2.) Regional considerations are critical. You can't live in North Carolina and tell me you couldn't live without In-N-Out Burger or White Castle.

3.) Pizza delivery joints are included. If you're a freak and couldn't live without Domino's "pizza", so be it.

After much deliberation, I gotta go with Five Guys Burgers. They make the greatest burgers on the planet, they're in the Raleigh area and just about any other place where I'd consider living, and did I mention their burgers are the best?

Have at it...

Admiring the comfort foods of Montreal...

First things first, Montreal was beautiful. I'll get a few of our pictures up later in the week, but I wanted to sing the praises of some of the comfort foods I enjoyed while we were in Canada.

First, is poutine. It's basically gravy fries with cheese curds dumped on top, and was recommended to me by a St. Hubert's waiter who was quite excited about his province's native delicacy.

Next, is the smoked meat sandwich from Schwartz's Deli. So nearly as I can tell, smoked meat is basically a much leaner version of corned beef with about 1000 times more flavor. Fantastic stuff.

Finally, we tried St. Viateur's legendary bagels. They're boiled in a mix of water and honey and baked in a wood (not gas ) oven, which makes them darn tasty...

Wednesday, June 6, 2007
Blogger is all f*cked up today...

Sorry for the lack of new stuff. Hopefully, tomorrow will be better...

Tuesday, June 5, 2007
Did anyone else know they play "War" in casinos now?

How did I miss this???

At what point did "War" become a viable option for the legalized gambling community?

After burning through $50 at the blackjack table in what wasn't quite record time, my chick and I ventured around the casino floor and stumbled upon a table called "War".

Stunned, we asked the dealer what the game was. It's exactly what you though it was: High card wins. Period.

God bless her, my wife suggested I grab $20 more worth of chips to give it a try. 10 minutes later, I'm up to $75.

Exercising a little common sense, we jetted while I was ahead a whopping $5. No, it won't put the twins through college, but at least the Casino de Montreal didn't beat me!!!

Monday, June 4, 2007
Skip Bayless...The Dumbest Person Alive?

To answer my own rhetorical question...yes!

Skip Bayless spews stupidity like a dragon on speed. He does this on a daily basis on ESPN and I'm just about convinced that ESPN pays him to act stupid and draw in more viewers, subscribing to the theory that people that can't stand him will watch "to see what he says next." He can't be this stupid can he?

Judge for yourself. Here's some of the dumbest things he's said in the calendar year:

The morning after Lebron James passed to a wide-open Donyell Marshall for a game-winning 3-pointer in Game 1 of the Conference finals against the Pistons, Skip blasted Lebron and said he doesn't have that clutch gene. He doesn't have the it factor. He also said that it's not fair to ever compare him to Michael Jordan. Okay, first let's analyze the clutch statement. James had almost single-handedly beat the 64-win Pistons by himself the year before taking that series seven games when most said the Cavs would be swept. he hit big shot after big shot in that series just as he did in the first round when the Cavs beat the Wizards. And what did idiot, excuse me, Skip use as his basis for this statement? The fact that James passed the ball. Never mind that he was double-teamed and that Marshall had hit six 3-pointers the previous game. And Skip is so stupid that had Marshall hit the shot he likely would have sang James praises and said that he is the anti-Jordan because he's unselfish. Anyway, we all know what happened next. James systematically carved up the Pistons, played one of the all-time great games in Game 5, and again, with the exception of Game 6, just about single-handedly beat a superior team after being down 2-0. And what about the Jordan comparison. You're right, Skip. I guess we can't compare James to Jordan because at this stage of their careers that's a disservice to James. Lebron got his team, which was awful when he got there and which has less talent on it than Jordan's Bulls had, to the finals in 4 years. Jordan didn't do that until his seventh year and he didn't even get to the conference finals until his fifth year. Jordan also lost three straight times to the Pistons and never beat them when the Pistons had home-court advantage. Nice call, Skip.

Moving to football, after the Colts edged the Patriots in the AFC championship they asked Skip if the Patriots were done. (They asked this same question after Denver snapped New England's bid to three-peat the year before and Skip said yes). Again, Skip says they likely are and that "Tom Brady isn't Tom Brady anymore." This is one of the dumbest things he's ever said and that's a bold statement. Brady had just taken a dump of a team that featured nobodies like Jabar Gaffney and Reche Caldwell to the brink of another super bowl and the previous week had led the Patriots back from an eight-point deficit on the road against the best team in football, the San Diego Chargers. The Pats scored 11 points in the last six minutes or so and won 24-21, snapping a nine-game winning streak. And the kicker is that Brady played pretty well in the AFC title game. It was 38-34 for crying out loud. Tom Brady doesn’t play defense Skip! I can only assume that Skip's idiotic comment was the result of his throwing a last-second interception as the Patriots were trying to make a miracle drive in the final seconds. So the guy is fighting a stacked deck and really for the first time in his career is unable to pull a rabbit out of his hat in the last seconds and all the sudden he's not the great anymore? Many would say that Brady, 12-2 in the playoffs, was at his best last year since he had so little help around him and yet got so close to the super bowl. Only an idiot would say what Skip said. But then again Skip doesn't know anything about sports. I imagine he never made it past water boy in any sport he played and tries getting revenge by bad-mouthing today's super stars.

On the topic of football, Skip and Woody Paige once were asked who is the greatest quarterback ever? Skip started off by saying Joe Montana which amazingly was a nice choice. Woody countered by choosing Johnny Unitas which also is a good choice. Skip's response? He goes off about how Unitas was overrated and really wasn't that great. His evidence? Skip points to super bowl V when Unitas was knocked out of the game that the Colts eventually one, giving Unitas his third world championship. Never mind that Unitas was about 100 years old in that game. Never mind that he was the best in the business in the late 50s and throughout most of the 60s. Never mind that he was an offensive coordinator on the field, was one of the toughest players around, set all kinds of records in an era where they didn't have the sissy, pro-passing rules that are in place today and almost everyone always puts him in the top 5 when discussing the all-time great quarterbacks. Nope, because he didn't have a great super bowl at the end of his career, Unitas isn't that good in Skip's eyes. To borrow a line from Full Metal Jacket, "Skip were you born stupid or did you have to work really hard at it?"

I could go on and on but I'll conclude with this. A while back Greg Anthony was a guest host on First Take and he just shredded Skip. He embarrassed him and exposed him for the moron he is. I don't watch the show every day but in the days that I have I have not seen Anthony back and it's probably because he was convincing America that Skip was mentally deficient and ESPN didn't want that secret getting out. But I digress. When Yao Ming was injured earlier this year, the Rockets won a few games without him. Naturally and moronically, Skip said the Rockets were better off without him. Anthony laid into him and said "you're the kind of guy that if the Heat would win a few games without Shaq would say the Heat are better off without Shaq." But Anthony said it all right before uttering that sentence. He smiled and said, "(Skip), you're knowledge of sports is amusing."

Finally, something intelligent said on First Take.

Sunday, June 3, 2007
Our beloved leader...before re-election. Voters asked for this guy by a margin of roughly 3 million votes. He won the last election 5-4. We can all look forward to 1.21.09, the end of an error. A big error.

The More That Things Change

..the more they stay the same. Same as it ever was.


I don't know what this means for PAYGO, but it is not an encouraging sign. It will be hard to claim any high ground on Republicans on spending when this is the result of Dems only chance to differentiate themselves from Republicans of the last 6 years and and Dems of the 70's and 80's. The underlying problem is that fiscal realism does not sell with any critical mass of American voters. Everyone is for someone else to take the financial pain. As long as they don' t have to chip in. We are a bunch of financial lemmings. (Nice try David Obey. Political/financial realities bite whomever is in charge.)

But the news is not all bad. Pelosi sticks to her guns on ethics. When only House members can file ethics complaints, the tendency for hard ball politics to take over is way to strong. Has been for decades. This would be a major improvement in reforming Congressional-Business-Lobbying relationships. Some of the revelations would likely be painful, but such is the way of harsh medicine long overdue.


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